Blog Post - October 15th
S. Teresa of Avila| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Teresa of Avila
Teresa lived in an age of exploration as well as political, social and religious upheaval. It was the 16th century, a time of turmoil and reform. She was born before the Protestant Reformation and died almost 20 years after the closing of the Council of Trent.
The gift of God to Teresa in and through which she became holy and left her mark on the Church and the world is threefold: She was a woman; she was a contemplative; she was an active reformer.
As a woman, Teresa stood on her own two feet, even in the man's world of her time. She was "her own woman," entering the Carmelites despite strong opposition from her father. She is a person wrapped not so much in silence as in mystery. Beautiful, talented, outgoing, adaptable, affectionate, courageous, enthusiastic, she was totally human. Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes: wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; a mystic, yet an energetic reformer. A holy woman, a womanly woman.
Teresa was a woman "for God," a woman of prayer, discipline and compassion. Her heart belonged to God. Her ongoing conversion was an arduous lifelong struggle, involving ongoing purification and suffering. She was misunderstood, misjudged, opposed in her efforts at reform. Yet she struggled on, courageous and faithful; she struggled with her own mediocrity, her illness, her opposition. And in the midst of all this she clung to God in life and in prayer. Her writings on prayer and contemplation are drawn from her experience: powerful, practical and graceful. A woman of prayer; a woman for God.
Teresa was a woman "for others." Though a contemplative, she spent much of her time and energy seeking to reform herself and the Carmelites, to lead them back to the full observance of the primitive Rule. She founded over a half-dozen new monasteries. She traveled, wrote, fought—always to renew, to reform. In her self, in her prayer, in her life, in her efforts to reform, in all the people she touched, she was a woman for others, a woman who inspired and gave life.
Her writings, especially the Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle, have helped generations of believers.
In 1970, the Church gave her the title she had long held in the popular mind: doctor of the Church. She and St. Catherine of Siena (April 29)were the first women so honored.
Ours is a time of turmoil, a time of reform and a time of liberation. Modern women have in Teresa a challenging example. Promoters of renewal, promoters of prayer, all have in Teresa a woman to reckon with, one whom they can admire and imitate.
Teresa knew well the continued presence and value of suffering (physical illness, opposition to reform, difficulties in prayer), but she grew to be able to embrace suffering, even desire it: "Lord, either to suffer or to die." Toward the end of her life she exclaimed: "Oh, my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for you is paid in troubles! And what a precious price to those who love you if we understand its value."
Patron Saint of:
On Being Loved:
Dear Lord, thank you for the love of the many good people who support, encourage, and assist me. Their love is beautiful in its many facets and modes of expression. There is love in gestures and actions and self-sacrifice—so many ways to love that I never would have recognized if I were not so needy.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Never be pleased with yourself. Everything comes from God.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Five: 263-326
As we begin Notebook Five, Saint Faustina’s understanding of the Mercy of God should be more alive to you. Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of the infinite love of God and His burning desire to embrace you, free you from the burden of sin, and shower you with His grace.
It should also be clear that God is silent at times so as to strengthen you, purify you and deepen your trust in Him. God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond what we could ever imagine. He is perfect in His love and you must have full confidence in the direction He gives to your life.
As we enter into this notebook, try to believe and live all that you have read so far. It’s one thing to believe it intellectually, it’s quite another thing to believe it with your actions. You must believe in the Mercy of God with your actions. You must let all that you have read take hold of you and direct the way you live. One way to do this is to go back to any reflections that have stood out so far. If something has stood out, be it a particular reflection or a general theme, pay attention to that. The Message of Mercy is broad and all encompassing, but it’s also particular to you. Let the Lord speak directly to you revealing the specific truths that you need to embrace the most.
Reflection 288: Silence in the Face of Ridicule
If you are given the glorious gift of a deep faith, many will see this and rejoice in it. But it may be the occasion for some to have jealousy. This is a sad and painful experience. Know that the jealousy of another is not caused by you or by your faith, it is caused by their sin. Therefore, if you experience the jealousy or ridicule of another stemming from their jealousy, do not be alarmed. Certainly it is appropriate to feel holy sorrow over their action, but that sorrow must not turn into a wound. Instead, pay no attention to the mistreatment of another other than this holy sorrow that leads to silent surrender to God. Pray for this person and have great hope that their sin will be realized by them and that they will repent. Your hope, your silent suffering, and your holy sorrow will become an act of Mercy to them allowing them to see the effects of their sin (See Diary #1422).
Accepting the darts of another’s sins can be difficult. Reflect upon how you react when one of these arrows is sent your way. Though it is easy to react with vengeance, your mistreatment by another offers you an opportunity for much grace. Mercy, silence and holy sorrow provide you with the tools you need to help bring conversion to those who mistreat you. This is difficult to do and can only be done when you have fully surrendered to the Mercy of God. God loves you and He loves every sinner with a burning love. Reflect upon that love God has for those who have hurt you and reflect upon the fact that you are in a unique situation to help them experience God’s love. Do not shy away from this duty and the Lord will bless you more than you could ever imagine.
Lord, I pray that Your Mercy floods my heart, especially for those who have hurt me. May I love them with Your Heart and become a source of grace in their lives. I love You, dear Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.